April 24, 2009

Markets hold onto gains Friday

U.S. markets turned higher Friday on corporate reports that beat investors' expectations.

Despite of declining revenues, Microsoft Corp, shares increased. Ford Motor Co. posted a loss of $1.4 billion but said it has enough cash to avoid turning to the government for help.

Ford shares rose 13 percent. Microsoft shares gained 10 percent.

The Commerce Department said new durable good orders dropped 0.8 percent in March. Analysts had expected a 1.4 percent decline.

By close, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 119.23 points, or 1.5 percent, to 8,076.29. The Standard & Poor's 500 rose 1.68 percent, 14.31 points, to 866.23. The Nasdaq composite index added 42.08 points, 2.55 percent, to 1,694.29.

On the New York Stock Exchange, 2,332 stocks advanced and 703 declined on a volume of 6.9 billion shares traded.

The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury bond fell 16/32 to yield 2.98 percent.

The euro rose to $1.3238, compared to Thursday's $1.3139. Against the Japanese yen, the dollar fell to 97.16 yen, compared to Thursday's 97.92 yen.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei average lost 139.02 points to 8,707.99, down 1.57 percent.

In London, the FTSE index rose 3.43 percent, 137.76 points, to 4,155.99.